Okinawa: The Afterburn

(Okinawa Urizun no ame)

- JAPAN / 2015 / Japanese, English / Color, B&W / Blu-ray / 148 min

Director: John Junkerman
Photography: Kato Takanobu, Higashitani Reina, Chuck France, Stephen McCarthy, Brett Wiley
Music: Komuro Hitoshi
Sound Editor: Wakabayashi Daiki
Producers: Yamagami Tetsujiro, Maezawa Tetsuji, Maezawa Mariko
World Sales, Source: Siglo

On April 1, 1945, the US military landed on the island of Okinawa. This film evokes the reality of the Battle of Okinawa by combining interviews with archival footage of Okinawan residents and the former American and Japanese soldiers who faced one another on the battlefield. Furthermore, the film portrays the history of discrimination against and oppression of Okinawa, forced to bear the burden of US military bases, and connects this history with the construction of a new US military base in Nago’s Henoko district. We are shown the roots of the deep despair and anger of the Okinawan people.

[Director’s Statement] The fight to get rid of the US military bases will continue for a long time. The people of Okinawa will certainly not give up. The responsibility to liberate the Okinawan islands from a fate as “spoils of war” lies not, however, with the people of Okinawa but with the citizens of the US and Japan. How will we bear that responsibility?

- John Junkerman

Born in 1952 in Milwaukee, USA. Graduate of Stanford University. His directorial debut Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima (1986) was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category. His works include Uminchu: The Old Man and the East China Sea (1990), the Emmy Award-winning Dream Window: Reflections on the Japanese Garden (1992), Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002) and Japan’s Peace Constitution (2005, YIDFF 2005). He continues to work between Japan and the US.